Cabrera delivers emotional bilingual pregame speech
SAN DIEGO -- In a closed clubhouse meeting, shortstop Everth Cabrera addressed the Padres prior to Tuesday's game against the Orioles with words that the players described as emotional.
Cabrera was suspended 50 games Monday without pay for violating MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program that will force him to miss the remainder of the 2013 regular season.
Manager Bud Black said Cabrera met with him this past weekend to discuss the details, and it was Cabrera's idea to address the team. He apologized to the Padres, both in English and in Spanish, and expressed remorse much like he did while addressing the media on Monday.
"In one sense you're angry, you're frustrated, you're tired of talking about it," Padres third baseman Chase Headley said. "But on the other hand, you've got a teammate going through a difficult situation, so it's mixed emotions.
"This hurts our team, obviously, so in that respect there may be some of those feelings. But, there's also a feeling of I've been around this guy for four or five years and you can see the emotion that's coming out of him."
Cabrera said on Monday he took a banned substance before or during Spring Training 2012, after the advice of his former representation, Juan Nunez, to help heal a shoulder injury he suffered while playing in Triple-A during the 2011 season.
This isn't the first time the Padres have had to deal with one of their players facing a suspension for using a banned substance. Catcher Yasmani Grandal missed the first 50 games this year for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone in 2012.
"I think our guys are ready to move on," Black said. "They're conditioned to move past this distraction."
It leaves the Padres without one of their best and most productive players this season. Cabrera, the Padres leadoff man and All-Star, had a career-high 108 hits and led the National League with 37 steals this season.
Black, Headley and outfielder Will Venable all said they are all in favor of stiffer penalties for performance enhancing drugs. Currently, a player receives 50 games for his first violation, 100 for his second and a lifetime ban on the third.
"For whatever reason, 50 games and the shame and embarrassment is still not enough to deter people," Venable said. "I think just as a deterrent, it might be a good idea to increase the penalties. Make people think three or four times about it instead of twice."